Empirical Evidence of Drug Addiction

Topics: Addiction, Drug addiction, Nicotine Pages: 3 (808 words) Published: August 12, 2013
Empirical Evidence

The study of addiction has included alcoholism and drug addiction for a long time. The recent obesity epidemic has brought food addiction as a serious concern even though it is still a controversial issue. It is difficult to accept the idea of food being an addiction. Addiction has been defined as” a primary, chronic disease involving brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry.”(Whitepaper) There are numerous studies and research that support the fact that over eating food can have the same effect on the brain as those addicted to drugs.

One of the studies took place in the research laboratory in Princeton University by Professor Bart Hoebel. He experimented with rats overeating a sugar solution. The rats would go twelve hours without food and than be given a sugar solution with their meal. The experiment was to release dopamine into the rat’s brain the same way in which it is released into a drug addict’s brain. The research concluded, “ that the rats developed many behaviors and changes in the brain that are similar to the effects of some drugs of abuse, including naloxone-precipitated withdrawal.” (Epstein,2010). Another experiment conducted by Johnson and Kenny involved giving rats a cafeteria-style diet high in carbohydrates and fat and than breaking the rats into three groups. The first group of rats ate only regular rat food. The second group of rats ate the regular food but was also allowed some of the cafeteria food. The last group was given the regular diet and more cafeteria food. “The experiment ranged from fourteen days to forty days and found that the rats third group of rats gained the most weight and exhibited the same behavior of those who abused drugs.”(Ibid) “The rats were also given a form of punishment to get the food and were also deprived of the food and behaved the same way that a drug addict would under the same set of circumstances. Even though the rats would undergo some kind of pain to...


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